Doctors Remain Popular Source for Supplement Information

<p>Despite the depth and breadth of health information available and easily accessible to consumers, doctors prevail as the most popular source for reliable information on dietary supplements, according to the most recent Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements.</p>

WASHINGTON—Despite the depth and breadth of health information available and easily accessible to consumers, doctors prevail as the most popular source for reliable information on dietary supplements, according to the most recent Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements. The annual survey, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of CRN, revealed that 55 percent of supplement users trust a medical doctor/physician for reliable information on dietary supplements.

"The patient-doctor relationship is a partnership in which both parties have responsibilities when it comes to communication," said Duffy MacKay, N.D., senior vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN. “At a time when consumers are increasingly seeking a proactive role in their health, this survey presents positive indicators that people who take supplements are engaging their doctors in those health decisions."

About 85 percent of supplement users reported that they let their physicians know about the supplements they are taking, showing that consumers are upholding their role in the open dialogue. According to the supplement users surveyed, the same is true for the majority of doctors. In addition to being transparent with their doctors about their supplement use, dietary supplement users are also more likely than non-users to visit their doctors on a regular basis.

Not only is it important for consumers to be open with their doctors and other health care practitioners about their supplement use, but, according to Dr. MacKay, “Doctors should be open to considering the positive role supplements can have in a healthy lifestyle, as well as taking seriously their patients’ growing interest in preventive health care. I know with my patients, they’re no longer looking to me simply to treat them; they want to know how they can better take care of themselves so they can stay healthy. We know that good nutrition—which may include supplementing the diet—helps."

Another recent survey from CRN indicates dietary supplement use by U.S. adults is more prevalent than indicated by previous data. The new research shows dietary supplement usage is a mainstream practice used by many health-conscious consumers.

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